- The passive safety of vehicles (Team Leader G. Belingardi): development of architectural solutions of the vehicle body structures or subsets (such as hoods, doors, frames, beams, ...), to maximize the energy absorption during the crash, obtaining a progressive collapse, with limited (ie lower than the biomechanical preset values) values of the resisting force and consequently of the resulting deceleration (relevant for the protection of passengers). The adoption of structural foams for the absorption of energy.
- The safety of electric vehicles (Team Leader M. Avalle): the evolution of private transportation on road will inevitably move, in more or less long period, towards a gradual progressive electrification introducing completely new problems in terms of structure (completely different architectures of engine and gear box), weight distribution (presence of bulky and heavy batteries) and consequently safety. In synergy with other lines of research of the group we are studying innovative and integrated solutions to the design problem.
- The lightweight of vehicle structure (Team Leader G. Belingardi): development of lighter structural solutions, while meeting the constraints of safety regulations and requirements of stiffness, fatigue strength and manufacturability. This line includes the study of solutions both in innovative steels of the UHS type, both in light metals (for example aluminum or magnesium), and reinforced plastics (composite) and sandwich. The composite solutions require the study of specific joining techniques (adhesive, rivets, ...)
- Structural optimization (Team Leader G. Chiandussi): methods of topological optimization are a powerful tool in the study of innovative design solutions with a high stiffness-to-weight ratio. The available proprietary programs are constantly updated and are used for the solution of problems of conceptual design of mechanical components and systems in the industrial field, for the identification of solutions radically different from those already available on the market. The design solutions deemed promising, are refined by the use of shape and parametric optimization methodologies implemented in proprietary programs.
- Biomechanics of impact events (Team Leader M. Avalle): improvement of the safety performance of vehicles in case of impact against passengers and other road users (vulnerable road users, pedestrians and cyclists in particular) through the simulation study of the dynamic phenomena of impact vehicle-human. For this purpose, in close collaboration with other research groups at the international level, models of parts of the human body (or whole human body models) are developed and improved to be applied in the simulation in order to reduce the vehicle aggressivity.
- Impact behavior of composite materials and models (Team Leader G. Belingardi): composite materials are characterized by high specific (relative to the density) strength and stiffness indices, but also by strong anisotropy, by multiple and specific mode of failure and by energy absorption mode through fracturation. Their use for the design of safety components requires an in-depth understanding of their mechanical properties and failure modes.